Welcome to Day 1 of the P4P Sweetheart + Me Hearties Sew-A-Long! We are so glad you’re here.
Today, we are talking fabric. Let’s be honest, if you’re here, fabric is probably your favorite thing to talk about already. So this is going to be a fun topic. Let’s get started!
Fabric choice can really make or break a garment. Not just the color or pattern, but the kind of fabric you use.
There are so many fabrics out there that you can get lost in the different options. What helps is to familiarize yourself with how the fabric will look once it’s on you (how it will drape and fit). Feeling fabric for the amount of stretch, thickness, and drape will help you pair it with the right pattern.
So what is the right fabric for the Sweetheart pattern?
We highly recommend a more stable knit. Ponte de roma, jegging, scuba, liverpool, and thicker cotton lycras are fabulous for this pattern, specifically because of the circle skirt. Fabrics with a higher drape will still work, but beware that the skirt could end up being a bit more clingy that you were hoping.
For the overlays and colorblocked top pieces, feel free to use any of the above listed fabrics, as well as stretch lace, mesh knits, rayon blends, etc.
Ponte de Roma: (or ponte, ponte roma, ponte di roma, etc) This fabric is a double knit in construction, and tends to look the same on both sides. It’s a sturdy knit, generally with a horizontal stretch only, although can sometimes also be found with a vertical stretch. It’s made up of poly, rayon and spandex blend (the more rayon the softer the feel). It can pill easily, but if you hang dry should last you with normal wear. The rayon gives it a good drape still, see how the skirt falls towards the body.
Jegging: Typically thought to be used for skinny pants and other bottoms, jegging is a medium-weight stretch fabric. You can also find it labeled “denim knit” in some shops. Often, it has a denim-style look (think blues and blacks) and is meant to mimic jeans while keeping the comfort of stretch fabric. It has some vertical stretch. Weight of jegging knit can vary widely, so if you’re using it for the sweetheart you want to keep it a bit thicker.
Scuba: A highly structured, one sided fabric, made of neoprene (with a sleek surface, much like a scuba outfit). Typically only has a horizontal stretch and is easy to sew with, however isn’t the most breathable fabric. These types of knits have a great stretch and recovery, like ponte does, but doesn’t have as soft of a drape. Your skirt will stick out a bit more away from your body.
Other fabrics that are very similar are liverpool, true neoprene and techno. They will all feel, stretch and drape about the same.
Fukuro: Soft to the touch with a nice stretch. The face of fabric has texture to it while the back has a smooth finish. It is a more structured knit and skirt will again stick out away from body more.
Cotton Lycra: This semi-opaque knit has a soft hand. Most commonly has both horizontal and vertical stretch. The word “lycra” is a brand/trademark of spandex. Any time you see this fiber listed on a label, expect comfort, movement, and shape retention that won’t wash away. Depending on weight you may feel a bit more “revealed” in cotton lycra on the top half, because it isn’t as thick as those listed above. Your skirt will have moderate drape towards the body. The vertical stretch could cause your bodice to pull slightly longer with the weight of the skirt pulling it down. (It was very windy, so the dress is being blown under my booty by the wind! It is not the fabric draping under there naturally!)
You can choose a fabric with a softer drape, like ITY, poly blends, rayon spandex, etc. But they will drape down towards your body. Your skirt will hang on your body instead or stick out away from it. We still recommend one that has good weight for the bodice to hold shape well and since it is fitted to help not show lumps,bumps,bra lines, etc.
Now that you’ve chosen your fabrics, share them with us! Tag @PatternsforPirates and #P4PSWEETSAL on Instagram. And be sure to post your fabric picks in our event page: Sweetheart SAL on Facebook.
Thanks for sewing along with us! We look forward to a week worth of sewing with you!